Positives for England after an opening game case of Manausea

An England fan suffers during the defeat to Italy last night. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

I'm going to call it Manausea.

It's a very rare psychotic condition but it's not hard to diagnose. You certainly don't need to be medically trained; the symptoms are easy to identify.

This jungle inspired sickness starts with that nervous hollow feeling in your stomach, it progresses to stage two when you feel pleasantly surprised, excited even by what you're watching.

During its next cycle you fluctuate from despair to joy and back again before, after about 90 minutes, it really takes hold.

Manausea gives you this strange feeling you've never had before – that you're actually quite content, positive even, despite the fact that England have just lost a World Cup match.

If you've got it, the reason is because, however many games you've watched them play, you can't remember the last time you saw an England team look so threatening and innovative going forward.

England's players look dejected after Italy's opening goal. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Raheem Sterling was both catalyst and tormentor-in-chief. An orange booted roadrunner, every time he was in possession Italian defenders back-peddled nervously.

When he lost the ball, unusually it wasn't too frustrating because at least he was trying to be different; to be creative.

He has been a revelation in training on this trip and Roy Hodgson gets great credit for throwing off his cloak of caution and playing him at the expense of Wayne Rooney in his favoured role.

Daniel Sturridge was exceptional too, on the ball he is always threatening, like Sterling he has a destructive change of pace and he took his goal superbly. That was not an easy finish and he made it look so.

So if the youngsters caught the eye last night, what about the old timers?

Raheem Sterling produced an encouraging display on his tournament debut. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Steven Gerrard had one of his poorer games, his passing was generally accurate if not too threatening, but his default position was too deep. That allowed the Italian midfield, including the peerless Pirlo, to control much of the game.

By far England's biggest weakness though came down the left side. Time and again poor, scampering, Leighton Baines was left hopelessly exposed. He rarely knew which way to look he was so outnumbered.

In the first half Wayne Rooney was culpable. Defending, he was often a good 10 metres away from where he should have been. Baines was left to corral at least two Italian attackers on his own.

On occasions Rooney's reluctance to help out meant England's centre backs were dragged out wide. Out wide and out of position.

Ironically when Hodgson addressed this at half time, swapping Wellbeck and Rooney, Italy's winner came 4 minutes later from a cross from England's left. Mario Balotelli of all people losing Cahill at close range and heading inside Joe Hart's near post.

Rooney is now quite a problem for Hodgson. He still hasn't scored in a world cup and if he's lost his favourite starting spot to Sterling then is he really the best winger in the squad?

He made Sturridge's goal with a exquisite ball agreed, but can't James Milner clip one in equally as accurately? And remember Milner will not let you down defensively. Roy Hodgson has already made one bold decision in Brazil, will he do so again?

There is no room for sentiment or reputations, England need to win their next two group games to guarantee a place in the knock out stages.

And boy I hope they do, if I feel this good about them losing, just imagine the euphoria when they win! ?

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